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Eliana & Rosa Martinez Eliana Martínez (September 15, 1981-November 27, 1989) was an American adoptee who contracted the AIDS virus from a blood transfusion as an infant. Her adoptive mother, Rosa Martínez (1952-), fought for Eliana to be allowed to attend a public school without being isolated from other students by transparent partitions, referred to by Mrs. Martinez as a "glass cage"[1]. Eliana died seven months after winning the right to attend a special education program without being physically isolated from other students. Contents 1 Biography 1.1 Early life 1.2 Legal challenges to attend school 1.3 Death and afterward 2 References 3 External links Biography Early life Eliana Martínez was born prematurely on September 15, 1981 in Puerto Rico. She received thirty-nine blood transfusions in the first four months of life, thereby receiving contaminated blood with the AIDS virus from one of them. Unable to care for Eliana nor her four older siblings, her biological parents were denied custody of her. The first eleven months of her life were spent in the hospital where she was born until she was adopted by Joe and Rosa Martínez. (The couple separated in 1986.[2]) Eliana had multiple handicaps and was mistakenly diagnosed with cerebral palsy until the diagnosis of AIDS-related complex was confirmed. Her handicaps were due to the AIDS virus.[3]. She was diagnosed with AIDS-Related Complex in April 1985. Eliana was treated with AZT for two years and later with ddl.[4] Legal challenges to attend school In November 1986, Rosa Martínez sought to have Eliana admitted to Manhattan Exceptional Center, a special school operated by Hillsborough County Public Schools. With a tested IQ of 57, Eliana was classified as a trainably mentally handicapped child.[5] The school district wanted Eliana taught at home out of fear she could transmit the AIDS virus. After exhausting the appeals process with the school district, Mrs. Martínez filed a legal complaint on September 3, 1987 with the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida.[3][6] Judge Elizabeth A. Kovachevich ruled on August 8, 1988 that Eliana could attend the school if isolated by transparent partitions from other students until she was toilet trained and learned to stop sucking her fingers.[7] A notice of appeal was promptly filed[8] and the school district constructed the isolation booth specified in the judge's decision.[9] On August 25, Judge William Terrell Hodges ruled that Eliana should be tutored at home until the appeal could be heard by the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.[10] In December 1988, the Court of Appeals returned the case to Judge Kovachevich, upholding Eliana's right to be placed in the least restrictive environment unless evidence proved that she posed a significant risk to other children.[11] Judge Kovachevich ruled that Eliana could sit at a desk in a classroom without isolation partitions and Eliana attended her first day of school on April 27, 1989.[12][13] Eliana adjusted to attending school and only four of the 200 students at the school stopped attending.[14] Death and afterward Eliana Martínez died on November 27, 1989.[15] She has a panel on block 03098 of the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt. In March 1991, Rosa Martínez and husband Garth Button became legal guardians for two sisters born with AIDS whose mother had recently died.[16][17] Following an investigation of allegations that Martínez withheld AIDS treatment from the girls[18], the Florida Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services removed from the Martínez-Button household. They were cleared, but Rosa and her husband agreed the girls should remain with their foster parents and avoid further disruption of their lives. References ^ Associated Press (1988-08-23). "Mother to Appeal 'Glass Cage' Ruling". New York Times.  ^ Associated Press (1988-08-17). "AIDS Girl's Mom Held in Fraud". Miami Herald: p. 1B. "A mother who just won a federal court battle to enroll her adopted, AIDS-infected, mentally handicapped daughter in public school now finds herself in a legal battle against a welfare fraud charge involving food stamps. Rosa Martinez, 36, was arrested Monday for, prosecutors claim, improperly obtaining $200 or more in government assistance in 1986. That was right after Martinez, a nurse, separated from her husband. She said she was unemployed for a time and applied for food stamps and didn't know she had been overpaid. . . ."  ^ a b Associated Press (1987-09-05). "Lawsuit Seeks to Put AIDS-related complex Child in School". Miami Herald: p. 2D. "The adoptive mother of a 5-year-old mentally handicapped girl who suffers from AIDS-related complex has filed a federal suit in Tampa to try to get the child into public school . . . Martinez said Eliana suffers from cerebral palsy . . . ."  ^ Associated Press (1989-11-27). "AIDS Patient Who Won Landmark School Case Dies".  ^ Martinez v. School Bd. of Hillsborough Cty., Fla., 861 F.2d 1502 (11 Cir. 1988) ^ Martinez v. School Bd. of Hillsborough Cty., 675 F. Supp. 1574 (M.D.Fla. 12/23/1987) ^ Associated Press (1988-08-10). "Classroom Booth Asked For Girl, 6, With AIDS". New York Times.  ^ "AIDS Pupil Ruling Mother Will Appeal". Miami Herald: p. 6A. 1988-08-17. "Steve Hanlon, attorney for Rosa Martinez, 36, said he filed notice of appeal Tuesday. He'll ask the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta for a speedy hearing, but is doubtful the case can be resolved before school starts Aug. 29."  ^ "AIDS Isolation Booth". Miami Herald: p. 16A. 1988-08-25. "Parents peer into the glass booth designed to isolate Eliana Martinez, a 6-year-old mentally retarded girl with AIDS, from classmates at the Manhattan Exceptional Center in Tampa. A federal judge said Wednesday that the girl can stay in a homebound study program until an appeals court says whether she must be enclosed in the booth."  ^ Associated Press (1988-08-25). "Judge Delays School Admission of Girl With AIDS". New York Times.  ^ Associated Press (1988-12-02). "Prove AIDS Pupil Should Be Put in Glass Booth, Appeals Court Says". Miami Herald: p. 12A. "A mentally handicapped Florida student with AIDS should not be isolated in a glass booth unless school officials can prove she poses a serious risk of transmitting the AIDS virus to other students, a federal appeals panel said Thursday."  ^ Associated Press (1989-04-27). "No Glass Cage for AIDS Pupil". New York Times.  ^ "AIDS-Infected Child Has First Day at School". Miami Herald: p. 15A. 1989-04-28.  ^ "Girl with AIDS, Classmates Adjust". Miami Herald: p. 17A. 1989-06-06. "Since a judge allowed 7-year-old Eliana Martinez into school five weeks ago, the mentally handicapped child with AIDS has been making gradual adjustments. . . Of the 201 children enrolled, four have stayed away since Eliana came to school on April 27, said Sandra Kilpatrick-Williams, principal. One girl, who suffers from a suppressed immune system, was granted a transfer."  ^ Associated Press (1989-11-29). "Eliana Martínez, 8; Won AIDS Court Test". New York Times.  ^ Associated Press (1991-03-29). "AIDS Patients Have New Home". Miami Herald: p. 4B. "Rosa Martínez of Hillsborough County, whose daughter Eliana died of AIDS in 1989, and her husband, Garth Button, are now legal guardians of Laylie, 5, left, and Alisha, 4. Laylie and Alisha were born to a Polk County nurse who did not know she carried the HIV virus. She died in May."  ^ "Mother takes in 2 sisters with AIDS". Ocala Star-Banner. 1991-03-29. "She said later she didn't plan to raise another child. But that changed when a social worker brought Laylie, 5, and Alisha, 4, to visit last week...."  ^ Associated Press (1991-09-22). "Mother Battles System". Miami Herald: p. 2B. "A mother whose fight to keep her AIDS-infected daughter in school drew national attention says she's being investigated for allegedly withholding AIDS treatment from two girls she has since become legal guardian to together with her husband, Garth Button. Rosa Martínez said the Florida Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services opened an investigation Sept. 5."  External links Rosa Martinez Button official website "Broken Promise: Breaching a reporter-source confidence", article about media outlets revealing Eliana's name Persondata Name Martinez, Eliana Alternative names Short description Date of birth 1981 Place of birth Date of death 1989 Place of death